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Blink-Star

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About Blink-Star

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  1. It's just a glitch in the Matrix. The first threads are all being safely posted to an identical thread, in Injin's Alternative Universe.
  2. Interesting. I'm keen to know the 'tier' thresholds. I'm guessing that anything over £10 per point will be subject to a higher-tier margin rate of some kind. CMC used to market their spreads in this way back in their deal4free.com days...... you can have a 2 point FTSE spread, but if you trade in anything size-able you'll be subject to a requote.
  3. Client spreadbetting funds at CMC Markets are kept in a 'segregated' account at the bank, and spreadbet clients are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme for ~£50k per individual. The segregated bank account means that both CMC and their bank (Natwest when I worked there) would need to go bust on the same day for clients to lose their funds. In such an event, the FSCS still holds true for ~£50k per person. My thoughts on the margin changes are that they're nothing more than an internal Risk Management exercise. The traders at CMC are not encouraged to run sizable long or short positions in anything, but instead they manage the firms overall exposure (net client longs vs net client shorts) by trading the underlying futures markets. The 10% margin change is IMO fair considering the market volatility of the past year. I'll do some digging from ex-collegues and post my findings, but I don' t think CMC are in any serious trouble. Expect IG, CS, et-al to follow suit. There may be trouble ahead, but while there's moonlight and music and love and romance.......
  4. These are the people who now run this country: BBC News: 1st October 2009 - UK Supreme Court judges sworn in The Lisbon Treaty effectively removes an Englishman's right to trial by his peers (by jury), given to him in the Magna Carta of 1215. The statute books can now be applied willy-nilly by a bunch of bureaucratic mobsters in Brussels and The Hague. As somone else commented here; today is a sad day for freedom.
  5. Where the hell did Robbie appear from? Did he die or something?!?
  6. Whilst I commend the apparent forward-thinking of Lambeth council here, if this local currency idea takes off on a large enough scale, I can see there being 'words from the top', bringing about a swift halt to proceedings. The american civil war was apparently faught over a similar matter, according to regular HPC poster, Bill Still. James. ps I love the way the Queens head has been replaced by a Rasta with a megaphone! "Brap Brap Brap....... ooo waaan some rice and pea for their Brixton dollar!" Priceless.
  7. The Cato Institute hosts a discussion on increasing the public transparency of the Federal Reserve featuring Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX); with comments by Gilbert Schwartz, Partner, Schwartz & Ballen LLP, Former Associate General Counsel, Federal Reserve; and Bert Ely, President, Ely & Company, Inc. Moderated by Mark Calabria Director, Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute. http://fora.tv/2009/06/24/Ron_Paul_Bringin...Federal_Reserve
  8. Check out the chick behind Bernanke at 3.15. Wow.
  9. I have been spending some time this week watching the price of ebay sales of silver British coinage. I used to collect coins as a schoolboy, and I am keen to own some bullion as an inflation hedge. A Britich Crown coin, minted before 1919, contains 28.3 g (1 oz) of 0.999 grade silver. The spot silver level yesterday was USD 13.50, and the USDGBP rate was around 1.64, so I estimate the value of 1 oz of silver to be around GBP 8.23. (OK, the spot price is for a troy ounce, which is 31.1g, but let's call it an even nine quid for 28.3g of silver) Standard-issue, Queen Victoria silver crowns are selling on ebay for between £16 and £20 on average, around TWICE their silver value. Half-crowns are selling for between £8 and £10. Can anyone shine any light on the price disparity here? Does the 'collectability' of these coins warrant the 100% price premium? Or are they just over valued right now, due to there being greater demand than there is supply? I'm yet to go to the local coin-collectors shop and ask about prices and stock levels. I'll report back when I do. James.
  10. Straw Dogs - Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals 'This powerful and brilliant book is an essential guide to the new Millennium. Straw Dogs challenges all our assumptions about what it is to be human, and convincingly shows that most of them are delusions. Who are we, and why are we here? John Gray's answers will shock most of us deeply. This is the most exhilarating book I have read since Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene' - J.G. Ballard 'My book of the year was Straw Dogs. I read it once, I read it twice and took notes. I arranged to meet its author so I could publicise the book - I thought it that good... a devastating critique of liberal humanism, and all of it set out in easy-to-digest (although hard-to-swallow apercus)' - Will Self, New Statesman 'One of the most important books published this year, and will probably prove to be one of the most important this century... nobody can hope to understand the times in which we live unless they have read Straw Dogs' - Sue Corrigan, Mail on Sunday 'There is unlikely to be a more provocative or more compelling book published this year than Straw Dogs... Gray is one of the most consistently interesting and unpredictable thinkers in Britain' - Jason Cowley, Observer
  11. The Virgin Atlantic girls are much fitter. How much do they get paid? Did anyone else just love the recent Virgin Atlantic '25 years on' TV ad campaign? Branson for PM?!? James
  12. The 'Cash' prices offered by spreadbet firms represent the underlying, exchange traded, futures contract for the relevant index, plus or minus the spreadbet firms estimation of what the market deems to be the 'fair value' part of the futures price. 'Fair value' is basically the difference between the current REAL index level (represented by the prices of the constituient shares in the index - and therefore not something that can have anything 'priced-in' whilst the stock exchanges are closed) and the index futures level (which trade around the clock from when asia wakes up on a monday, right through to when the yanks go to bed on a Friday). It represents the 'cost of carry' of the futures contract from now, through to the expiry date of the futures contract, +/- any 'pricing-in' that the market deems fit (due to announcements of bad news over a weekend, for example). This is why the spreadbet cash prices are able to give an indication of where the stock indices will open, prior to the event (remember that the futures markets trade around the clock). James
  13. Let us say that you have a long position in a FTSE 100 company, e.g. Vodafone. You went long £10 per point at 100.00 pence. You are long, so you expect the price to rise. You decide that if the price of Vodafone falls to 90.00p, then you want to cut your losses and exit your trade. The expected loss here will be £10 x 10 points (100.00 - 90.00 = 10.00 points) = £100 loss. You place a stop order to sell £10 per point at a price of 90.00p On Friday at 4.30pm, the price of Vodafone closes at 102.25/102.75. You're 'in the money' and decide to go to the pub for a pint. On Sunday, the Government announce that private mobile phone ownership is to be outlawed, as it represents a national terror threat (rather extreme, I know, but it sets up my example well). When the markets open at 8am on Monday, the world will want to be sellers of Vodafone. The first trade on Monday morning, on the order books of the London Stock Exchange is done at a price of 40.00p This trade, at 40.00p 'triggers' your stop sell order at 90.00p. This triggering says to your spread bet broker "the market has moved past my stop, get me out" Your spreadbet brokers reply to this is "no problem, we will get you out of the market". They will close your position at 40.00p, realising a 60 point loss (£600 loss) on your account. The market has 'gapped' from the close on Friday to the open on Monday. If you had stop orders in between the top of the gap and the bottom, you automatically end up at the bottom. This is technically 'fair', but many do not understand the risk. This also applies to index positions - read my post here for more on index pricing. The customer service chaps at the SB brokers are willing to explain this to customers. They are not trying to hide anything. I can only recommend calling them and asking them about it. James EDIT: I should add, many SB brokers offer some sort of 'Guaranteed' stop order, whereby the SB broker agrees to cover, in my example, the 'extra' loss between 90.00 and 40.00. For this protection you will be charged a premium, like any form of insurance. My personal opinion is that the value of these premiums can very quickly eat into any profits you make from holding the position (they tend to be charged nightly, and may be up to 1 point per night, for a share like Vodafone (don't quote me on that, but again, call the SB brokers to ask about it).
  14. You are missing lots. Stops are not guaranteed levels. If the market gaps on open, you will be filled at the first available price past your stop. If you don't understand what this means, then ask the IG customer service guys about it, before you place your first trade. You should also understand how companies going ex-div will affect any index position you hold. I saw plenty of shorts get stung with this one. These are risky products. I worked at CMC markets for 5 years and saw plenty of customers crash and burn because they did not understand how the markets work. With the volatility we are seeing in the markets recently, I think you would be well advised to stay clear of highly leveraged instruments, such as IG's FTSE Cash Bet. Just my 2 cents worth. James.
  15. +1 We will have a bull-trap, followed by capitualation. Sometimes, people have to see things happen before their very own eyes, before they can beleive them. James
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